This article was written for Ekoji Buddhist Temple's Kalavinka newsletter to highlight Nen Daiko's role in representing the temple to Washington, DC metropolitan area audiences.
We have been busy preparing for our upcoming performances during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This annual celebration in Washington, DC is our busiest performance time of the year, with Nen Daiko performing usually at five or six events during the several-weeks-long celebration. These public performances allow Nen Daiko to fill key parts of our mission—to represent Ekoji by exposing the DC metropolitan area to the cultural and musical aspects of kumi-daiko, to continuously improve the group’s technical and artistic caliber, and to raise awareness of the connection between taiko and Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.
Nen Daiko’s ability to perform at these public events allows us to serve as one highly visible face of Ekoji and provides a different avenue to raise awareness about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism to those who are or might be interested in learning more. Every public performance begins with an emcee introduction of Nen Daiko as the taiko ensemble of Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, VA, and we often use transition time between pieces to give a short description of Nen Daiko’s history and of Buddhist taiko. Many audience members ask group members more about Ekoji and Buddhist taiko after our shows—and some follow up with an in-person visit to Ekoji—and we always see a spike in visits to our website following Cherry Blossom Festival season.
Nen Daiko takes seriously our responsibility to represent Ekoji, which is why we work to provide the best possible performance each and every time. We also ensure that each of our members, as well as our trainees, can give a brief explanation of Buddhist taiko and answer basic questions about Ekoji.
We hope to see you at one of our upcoming performances—please check out the Performances page of our website for specific performance times as the dates draw closer!
National Japanese American Memorial Foundation Freedom Walk—Saturday, 28 March
Smithsonian American Art Museum Family Day—Saturday, 4 April
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival—Saturday, 4 April
NCBF Sakura Matsuri Street Festival—Saturday, 11 April